Columbus may go solar for Christmas

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

After removing potentially dangerous electrical outlets in Columbus, the town is considering using solar lighting for Christmas this year.

Columbus Town Council met Thursday, Nov. 15 and heard from town manager Jonathan Kanipe who received a $2,100 to $2,200 estimate to replace outlets at the courthouse alone. He said the town is still trying to determine what the replacement costs would be along Mills Street near Food Lion, but he expects it will be at least as high as the courthouse area estimate. The replacement of Mills Street outlets would also include receiving easements from the state and permission from the N.C. Department of Transportation for anything to be buried in their rights of way. Duke Power would also have to set a meter and get electricity to the area, Kanipe said.

Kanipe suggested the town look into using solar Christmas light instead this year because of the time constraints related to installing the new outlets.

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“I was looking today at some solar lighting,” Kanipe said. “For the most part it seems to be pretty effective from what I’ve read.”

Kanipe said he could purchase one strand soon to see how solar lighting will work for Columbus prior to purchasing many strands. The town plans to decorate the town for the holidays after Thanksgiving.

Kanipe also said the town is looking into lighting up Stearns Park with new power supplies being installed there. There was only one power supply at Stearns previously but the town is adding five more for a total of six.Columbus officials have also discussed decorating town hall for Christmas this year.